TINY LIVING with a BIG DOG | Gear, Training, Pros & Cons

TINY LIVING with a BIG DOG | Gear, Training, Pros & Cons

There have been lots of questions regarding Akela’s gear, how she has adjusted to the van, what it is like living with a large dog, and how we deal with all of the nuances!

Backpack – https://www.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=pl&ti=1105&pw=293117&mi=11097&pt=3&pri=1811

Swamp Cooler Vest – https://www.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=pl&ti=1105&pw=293117&mi=11097&pt=3&pri=1836

Life Jacket – https://www.avantlink.com/click.php?tt=pl&ti=1105&pw=293117&mi=11097&pt=3&pri=1779

Juniper Trails (Melissa)
Website – https://www.junipertrailsdogtraining.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/junipertrails/

Insulated Window Covers:
We are Linnea and Akela. In May, 2020 I purchased our 2016 Ram ProMaster, Togo, to become our full-time home. With this van build, I am using my stubbornness and drive to show individuals that they, too, can convert a campervan BY THEMSELVES and ON A BUDGET, with a lot of learning, rolling up the sleeves, and getting to work.
Our goal is to inspire individuals to chase their dreams… to break from societal limitations and live the life they truly desire. And, to GET OUTSIDE!
SUBSCRIBE for van build details, wanderlust travel, and the truth about van life with a big german shepherd!

Follow on Instagram: @linnea.and.akela


  1. Richy Smith on June 9, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    Hi, great video! I will watch more, now that I have subscribed. Akila is gorgeous โค I’m hoping to do some extended trips in my camper with my 1year old Fox Red Lab, Brodie โค

  2. Julia C on June 9, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    hey! what are the dimensions of her kennel? let me know when you get the chance!

  3. S on June 9, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    So beautiful!!!

  4. Angel on June 9, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    Wow..i want to be like these…im planning

  5. Amber S Young on June 9, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    I live in Vermont, so in the winter we often get below zero temps. My pup HATES his boots. He will plop down on the ground and rip them off. He loves the snow though, so I can’t not let him play in it.

  6. Okie Jammer on June 9, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Each one of your videos has a fun, special energy – even when you’re digging out of the snow or woodburning. YOU bring that to the table. New subscriber, traveling on short trips with TWO big dogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š Thanks much!

  7. Whisper Atnight on June 9, 2023 at 1:21 pm


  8. Denise Sam on June 9, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    Question: how do you typically wash her off when she needs a shower? (Like if she rolled in some particularly stinky mud that day)

    Enjoyed the video! Very informative and entertaining

  9. Susan Harkema on June 9, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    There’s nothing quite like putting booties on your dog the first time. Mine was having none of it but she compromised with the hiking vest. LOL Love you two together.

  10. A.J Hancock on June 9, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned her nervousness and what you do to help her, I have a dog reactive dog and that the biggest hoop we will be going through when I finally get my van road ready

  11. Leanne Meissner on June 9, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    Fantastic video. Very informative. Thank you!

  12. Busisiwe Majola on June 9, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Your Video is my game changer

    I need both a van and my travel buddy and this Video means EVERYTHING ๐Ÿฅบ

    Thank you

  13. daniela on June 9, 2023 at 1:26 pm


  14. R. S. on June 9, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    This is great. After 22 months of living in my van, I just got a dog. Itโ€™s been a week and itโ€™s been a bit of an adjustment but itโ€™s been awesome.

  15. ASMR BB on June 9, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    This made me emotional! She’s so smart

  16. Buckwheat Hikes on June 9, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    "They have an R-value of 16 …" … OMG no, no, no, no no. Folks, Reflectix has literally 0 R-value.

  17. CAT ๐Ÿฆ‚ on June 9, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    I have 2 German shepherds and you have hair EVERYWHERE! I would never imagine NOT traveling with a dog .

  18. Jan Solo on June 9, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    I recently lost my 1 year old Shepherd baby. Journi and my other girl Luna got over the fence and took off through the neighborhood. I didn’t have my rig so my teenagers and their friends went after them but after several near recoveries, 2 hours later on snow and slushy ice no luck Luna came home alone. Journi ended up at the emergency vet having been hit. She was already gone by the time I got there. Devastation. I had plans next year to begin my van build and designed it out more for them. Largest rig, super single high sleeping space for me, tons of water storage, food bin and toy/treat compartments, etc. Now it seems like it will just be me as Luna really belongs to my son and oldest daughter. Both will be leaving home this Summer. My 3rd oldest girl Roxy is 14, an Aussie Cattle dog and while still healthy she just may not be with me by then. She would love it though as I have to pry this old lady out of my truck. So…van life traveling without my girls…not so appealing. Luna looks so much like your girl. She is more cream and has a little Malamute so her eyes are a strange mix of brown, gray, blue and green. She so soft and smoofy. My kids love her as much as I do though so…prayers that God sends me another fur baby in time to train before my build. I’ll need to have time for puppy/doggy, work, van build and all of my other blessings in need of management. I just miss my Journi so much. She was so sweet, smart and beautiful. Thanks for your inspiration though and how well you care for Akela is commendable. God bless you in your travels.

  19. Dolphin Lover on June 9, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    If you want a hair free dog life…get a ๐Ÿฉ
    I think Akela is wonderful ๐Ÿฅฐ
    I’m new here and love your stories. Thank you.

  20. Jodi Joy on June 9, 2023 at 1:35 pm


  21. Annie Gill on June 9, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    What would life be like without a dog, just not worth it! I have two of them, they certainly own me ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Ingrid Marie Kjelseth on June 9, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    and here I never even thought of protecting their feet against the heat, mostly because I live way north haha. we don’t ever experience that. but good gear, thanks for the info! I’m adopting a van dog soon and am doing the most research I can now.

  23. HG Fire Warrior on June 9, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    I love Akela! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’“ She was so adorable trying out her new booties!!

  24. Break Free on June 9, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Yes you do love her so much. It shows The love you have for her shines through you with a glow so bright. You both are in a wonderful graceful energy that is so special.

  25. Michael Zielinski on June 9, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    So I know about dog hair I have two German Shepherds thank you for the tip about the boots also is your dog have a rattlesnake shot I live in Montana and I have both of mine done every year it gives you extra time to get to a vet just in case

  26. The Tinker Cook on June 9, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    Great info! What about installing a small groomer, pet hair vacuum on the wall with hose, that can reach your space for quick pick-ups? Staying ahead of build-up makes it better. Neabot P1.

  27. Carlos Z on June 9, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Oh my gosh! I can’t stop laughing at the part where her head is outside the window with the torn mosquitoe net thing! hahaha!
    Reminds me of Borat (my dog)!
    Thank you THANK YOU for this video. Fantastic work you are both doing together!

  28. Georgia Englund on June 9, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Love this! I’m in Australia and hoping to do a van build out next year for me and my dog Finley so that we can live an adventure life together too!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Cheeba K on June 9, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Yes! ALL dogs thrive with structure. So many people make the mistake of not giving their dog something do, which literally can be having your dog lay in their kennel or on their place cot (or as you referred to it as "spot") while you do something.

  30. Kristen_Roxy_Adventures on June 9, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    I wear dog hair with pride too! I have a 55 pound lab mix. Golden hair everywhere!

  31. Rhonda McKinley on June 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    It wouldn’t let me like…but I liked๐Ÿ˜Š

  32. lady p on June 9, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    It must be very hot huh??

  33. Ozymandias on June 9, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Love this!

    I have kennels available to my dogs (mini poodle mutt and malinois mutt) despite them rarely using them, lol ๐Ÿคฃ

    They’re also cardiac alert and response service dogs, so they’re never alone really because they need to go everywhere with me

    And we have the same temperature, so everyone is comfortable

    And our car ALWAYS has fur and a bit of dust (we visit Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming so the desert dust) but we have water to wash them off if need be as well as their own towels and hampers

    They’re spoiled rotten, and I love them to death <3

  34. Larry Flannery on June 9, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for the dog care suggestions. I’m looking for booties for mine.

  35. abby theredwolf on June 9, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    I already find dog hair in bedded in my shoes so hair in the personal space is natural lol

  36. puppies puppies on June 9, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    in regard to her not being allowed everywhere and it limiting your options, i have 3 dogs and they literally come with me EVERYWHERE, im at war with the management of everywhere.. I simply spent the 300$ to get their service dog certification and now nobody can say anything. and if you dont want to spent the 300 20 bucks on amazon and you can get the service dog leash which a lot of p[laces see the leash and dont even question

  37. Claire Lucas on June 9, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    What a beautiful looking dog and beautifully trained too. Such a shame when people dont train – it makes for such a good bond and of course an easy life – esp in a van ! I travelled all round UK and europe with my dog in my Fiat Doblo micro camper (car with seats taken out !) for 18 years and what adventures we had ! He also closed doors, picked up laundry and fetched my bag/socks/phone etc. He also came kayaking, climbing, hiking, wild swimming and on Workaways with me. He had support dog status so i could take him most places. I miss him so much the last 13 months. Just about ready to start looking for another adventure buddy, hopefully in time for a 2 month trip round Scotland this spring. Thank u for reminding me of all the good times – past and yet to come x

  38. Splashstorm04 on June 9, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    wow lovely video!! im getting my own large dog for RV life!! he’ll be trained as my service dog so he’ll have a job 24/7. so cool all the little things you trained her to help you out with ๐Ÿฅฐ

  39. aliusiaIR on June 9, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    I love Akelaโ€ฆI would love to hear her origin story and how old she is. Love the boots too! ๐Ÿ˜

  40. Jon Wigby on June 9, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    I am not sure, but I think this should find a person for a relationship, that the dog thing is almost odd. It is good to have a pet, but sharing a bed is not so good.

  41. scrappedlives on June 9, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    There are dogs that donโ€™t shed. Spaniels for example. But they need to be trimmed every 3 months.

  42. Oma Vic McMurray on June 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Iโ€™m making my way thru all your episodes and love the breadth! I appreciate that you did this one because I plan on traveling with my 2 Shepard mix dogs, especially the vests! But also the love and acceptanceโ€ฆ and you gave great tips! Woof! Thanks

  43. Margie's Van Mori on June 9, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    This was so helpful! I’m looking for a German shepherd to travel in my van with me. loved all the advice!

  44. S Harrison on June 9, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Whatโ€™s not to love about beautiful Akela?? She is beautiful and she is-one very lucky girl!

  45. Sharon King on June 9, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    When you have a dog thats life!

  46. Kristen on June 9, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    my husky uses those saddle bag things to hold his poop bags and stuff just to make him feel like hes accomplishing something on the walk.

  47. Elizabeth Salazar Conde on June 9, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    If you need to go shopping for food, what do you do with her?

  48. darkmerrick on June 9, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    aww i love this. what a good doggo. I need for ruffwear to just make one size bigger than what they do because my newf is just out of the size range and it makes me so sad. she’d love a pack to carry her own things around but they don’t fit her ๐Ÿ™

  49. Neona Violett on June 9, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    So so cute dog!!!!!

  50. Karen maldonado on June 9, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Definitely recommend Mammoth Lakes, California!

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